Moved company to a 4-day work week because of increased operating efficiency, and improved employee wellbeing and client service
Make conversations actionable by turning messages in Teams into tasks in Asana without having to switch between apps
Receive Asana notifications on important work in a Teams chat to save employees time
Improved cross-functional collaboration across 15 countries
Awin is the world's largest provider of affiliate marketing. Headquartered in Berlin, the company helps advertisers and publishers partner together to drive sales. Services are tracked and paid for in the platform keeping interactions between both parties secure. The business model works so well that Awin has 121,200 international advertising customers, over 241,000 publishing partners and customers in over 180 countries. The company has more than 1,200 employees and Asana is used by teams across the company in 17 offices worldwide to manage work. Many have integrated Asana with Microsoft Teams so they can collaborate on Asana tasks and keep work connected—without leaving Teams. Here’s the story of how that came to be.
Awin has only increased in popularity since its inception 20 years ago. But even with this track record, the team wasn't ready for the rapid acceleration prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects became larger, more complex, and had tighter deadlines. Siloed departments relying on spreadsheets and email for collaboration were no longer effective. This model also didn’t lend itself to the vision Awin had of its future, a world where a four-day work week while maintaining optimal client service levels was viable. With a goal to optimize processes and adopt work methods that would enable trialing a 32-hour work week, Awin began the search for a single work management tool to use across the company.
Awin was no stranger to work management tools. Different departments used different tools to manage their work. However, this created silos and made collaborating across teams difficult. What Awin needed was a platform that would simplify organization and integrate with systems that already worked for the company like Microsoft Teams and Jira Cloud. At this time, Asana was already being used by employees in the marketing team and they advocated for the platform to be used by the entire company. Championing by the marketing team helped put Asana in good stead but the platform wasn’t chosen until other tools were tested and evaluated.
Asana emerged as the preferred choice because of its intuitive, user-friendly interface and the full transparency it would provide into work across the company.
Awin determined the best way to introduce Asana to the whole company would be to show concrete examples of its efficiency. The company piloted the platform with its German sales team who exclusively used Asana to manage campaigns leading up to Black Friday in 2019. A huge day in retail, Black Friday preparations involve a lot of communication, negotiation, and coordination. The sales team effectively handled all this in Asana and delivered very positive feedback about their experience.
With this win under their belt, Awin introduced Asana company-wide. Asana’s ease-of-use meant it was easily adopted by most employees. More tech-savvy employees immediately started using Asana’s automation features like Rules, and status update functions. Those who found using Asana more challenging started with basic task lists to get used to a new way of working. Extra assistance was provided by Asana’s customer success team who showed people exactly what they could do on the platform. Regardless of adoption levels, there was a huge increase in transparency at Awin which was immediately felt across the company.
To take the power of Asana further, employees began to integrate Asana with Microsoft Teams. This has enabled teams and employees across the business to connect their conversations in Teams to actionable work in Asana.
The automation and efficiency gains provided by Asana and its integration with Microsoft Teams made it possible for Awin to pilot a four-day work week in January 2021. This exciting change made employees more motivated to better structure their work in Asana and integrate it with the other tools they used.
Here are a few of the ways employees are using Asana’s integration with Microsoft Teams to streamline their work and drive productivity:
Turn conversations into action and capture context: As new work or important information is shared in a Teams chat, Awin employees can turn them into new tasks in Asana or add the message to an existing task as a comment. This ensures action items and important context aren’t lost in the chat thread.
Stay informed about relevant updates in Asana: Using the ‘Linking to Project’ feature, teams can connect their Asana projects to specific group chats and events in Teams. They can then set up notifications to receive automated messages in the group chat for project updates, like status changes or hitting milestones, in Asana. Examples of automated notifications teams at Awin have set up include:
When a new task is added to the project or they receive a new submission from an Asana form.
As new tasks are assigned to an employee, they can receive a notification to get started on the new work.
When a task in a project becomes overdue, a notification is sent to the group chat so the team is aware and can take immediate action.
As status updates are shared in Asana projects, the relevant team is notified in their group chat to remind them to read it, and comment or like the update accordingly.
Maximize visibility into work by connecting projects to Teams group chats or events: Asana projects can be added to the top Tab of Teams so it’s easy to view and access the work without switching between apps. This works well for both large group chats, as well as one-on-ones with direct reports.
Overall, the increased transparency offered by Asana’s integration with Microsoft Teams has been a huge win for Awin. Being able to see project plans end-to-end and visualize which tasks are dependent on one another has allowed employees to better manage their work and resources. It’s now easier for global teams to communicate and cross-departmental coordination has significantly improved.
Awin has now begun using Asana to map objectives and key results (OKRs). A project pioneered by the Corporate Development and Strategy team, the entire company can now see how their work ladders up to achieve greater goals. OKRs have become an essential management tool and leaders at Awin will continue to explore how to use them to keep empowering teams to do their best work.
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